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Security in America's Public Buildings

April 19, 2000

Contact: Viki Reath, Bill Bearden, Hap Connors
(202) 501-1231

We at the U.S. General Services Administration are aware of significant anniversary dates and are taking appropriate action. The public will notice increased security visibility and inspections in and around federal buildings. We regret any inconvenience this action may pose to people working in or visiting federal buildings.

We reiterate that our federal buildings are public buildings, which exist to serve, not deter the public. Therefore, as always, we will do everything reason compels to protect employees and visitors in public buildings, but we will not shut our doors in their faces. Our challenge is to continue to enhance security without succumbing to a bunker mentality and denying the public legitimate access to the buildings that exist to serve them.

Since 1995, GSA has:
- spent more than $1 billion on security,
- worked with the U.S. Marshals Service and other federal agencies to review federal security and ensure that America's buildings remain open and accessible,
- made more than 8,000 specific improvements, including installation of thousands of additional security cameras, x-ray machines, metal detectors and other devices,
- doubled the size of our uniformed security force and contract guards for a combined total of nearly 7,000 security-related personnel,
- increased training and upgraded standards and qualifications for security guards and federal officers,
- designed security strategy to respond to a new level of threat, as described in a June 28, 1995 Department of Justice report,
- incorporated security enhancements in the design and construction phases of all new projects, and
- addressed security on a case-by-case basis in the space it controls in 8,300 buildings, paying attention to specific tenant needs.

Last Reviewed 2010-04-30